Union Furance Preserve
It snowed at least a foot in this area just five days ago, and the arctic temperatures (below freezing every day) guaranteed that all 12"+ would still be on the trails today. Since we both have colds, we decided to keep it short today and ventured out into the 15 F temperatures (no winds, though, so that was good) to climb a mountain ... twice! The powdery snow was perfect for snowshoes, but not having snowshoes our boots (without Kahtoola MICROspikes) were just fine. The MICROspikes would have been perfect had the snow frozen. Maybe next time.

This small preserve is located across Van Syckles Road from Spruce Run Reservoir. Using this map, we parked in the unplowed lot across from the trailhead and headed in. The traffic sound at the NE tip is a bit distracting but once you start the ascent up the mountain you hardly notice it and it eventually disappears when you come down the other side, descending to Serpentine Drive. At this point we turned back and went over the mountain in the opposite direction. The deep snow, which was drifting across the trail in several places, made it slow-going. And we were the only humans in this preserve since the snow. It was a nice workout with partial views of the reservoir andof Route 31.

Total distance hiked today was 2.1 miles in 95 minutes.

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